“I came with a phrase for Japan: say amen that the gold comes. I trained a lot in the last few months, but I just have to thank God for all this, he fulfilled my dream and gave me the opportunity to do what I love.
My intention is to help people and my family. I entered the water without pressure and got what I wanted,” said Italo Ferreira, Baía Formosa, Rio Grande do Norte, after winning a historic gold medal in surfing at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I wish my grandmother were alive to see this. I am very happy for what I became, for what I did for my parents. I always asked for this dream to come true and it did. I longed a lot and dreamed. The phrase I said is by my bed. Every day I prayed at 3:00 in the morning, asking God to make my dream come true”, he added emotionally.
he went wrong to be right
Before the decision, Italo broke the board in the first wave. Bad sign?
Not this time. He got a 7, making a series of tricks and hitting the top of the wave hard. In the sequence, he still had a 5.5, opening a good advantage.
He came in the backside and attacked the top of the wave. This earned him the grade 7.77. Thus, he left Italo ahead of 14.77 to 5.56, getting very close to being Olympic champion. And the Brazilian has not stopped improving.
He went backside on another wave, hit the top of the wave hard and changed notes, for a 7.37. Thus, he was champion with the victory in the battery by 15.14 to 6.60, defeating the tormentor of Gabriel Medina in the semifinals.
To get to the podium, he faced New Zealander Billy Stairmand, and in the quarterfinals, Japanese Hiroto Ohhara. He got the best wave of the championship – 9.67. In the semifinals, he beat Australian Owen Wright.
The Potiguar is second in the ranking of the World Surfing Tour.
Now an Olympic champion after a lot of fighting, Italo remembers that he learned to surf in a Styrofoam lid that his father used to conserve fish in Baía Formosa, in Rio Grande do Norte.
Italo's medal is Brazil's fifth in this edition of the Olympics, joining the silver medals of Kelvin Hoefler and Rayssa Leal in skateboarding and the bronzes of Daniel Cargnin in judo and Fernando Scheffer in swimming.